Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

June 13, 2014

In a somewhat unusual presidential shift, Rebecca Chopp will leave the presidency of Swarthmore College to become chancellor of the University of Denver. Chopp has been at Swarthmore for five years and previously was president of Colgate University. In a statement, Chopp said that she and her husband wanted to live closer to family members, and that it was a combination of personal and professional factors that led to the move.

June 13, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Daniel Müllensiefen, senior lecturer in psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, uses some interesting metrics to quantify an individual's musicality. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

June 12, 2014

Florida State University is restarting its search for president, with Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates now replacing R. William Funk as the university's search consultant, the Tampa Bay Times reported Wednesday. The Faculty Senate last week took a no confidence vote in Funk, one of the nation's top higher ed headhunters. Funk bowed out of the search on Monday.

June 12, 2014

The Faculty Senate at Blinn College has voted no confidence in Harold Nolte, the district president, The Eagle reported. Professors at the Texas community college said that there is no respect by the administration for shared governance and they object to numerous changes in which programs have been reorganized and class schedules changed. An underlying issue is the district's decision to hire six deans who took over duties that had been handled at the department and division level. Nolte said he was "very disappointed" in the vote but declined to comment further.

June 12, 2014

The University of Oregon has rejected a professor’s proposal to conduct a campus climate survey to obtain data about sexual assault on campus, The Register-Guard reported. Jennifer Freyd, a longtime Oregon professor of psychology, said she asked the university for $30,000 to pay 1,000 participants for their time and for student email addresses to distribute the survey. She and several graduate students would have completed the project over the summer for free, to meet an internal reporting deadline for a faculty body and in response to recent calls from the White House for colleges and universities to collect such data.

Freyd, who studies sexual violence and has worked with members of Congress on military sexual trauma policy, says the Oregon administration expressed early enthusiasm about her project. So she was surprised last week to discover the university had rejected the proposal, she said, noting that she was shocked by the university’s “tone” in the Register-Guard report. Robin Holmes, vice president for student affairs, was quoted as saying she worried that the survey could produce “confirmation bias in the results." Freyd said she has been publicly critical of Oregon’s response to a high-profile sexual assault case on that campus, and filed a federal complaint. But she said she is a scientist and her survey tool is similar to one the White House recommends.

Via email, a university spokeswoman said the university would carry out the research, but that it could be "best be accomplished"  by outside experts working in conjunction with university staff. Freyd says she’s not opposed to the university conducting its own study, since more data makes for a better understanding of what’s going on at Oregon – but she also wants to carry out her own project.

June 12, 2014

The University of Pennsylvania is creating a new prize for graduating seniors: $150,000 to change the world. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the prize would cover $50,000 in living expenses and $100,000 for a project. The university hopes the large size of the award will attract many creative, worthy ideas.

 

June 12, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Matt Lapierre, assistant professor of communications at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, examines the effectiveness of marketing in spite of the lack of observable results. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

June 11, 2014

More than 200 college and university leaders on Tuesday announced the creation of a new group -- Higher Ed for Higher Standards -- that will work to support the Common Core State Standards. Supporters argue that the standards -- now facing criticism from both the right and the left -- will help many more students arrive in college prepared for college-level work. Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York led the effort to create the new group.

June 11, 2014

The Tea Party's biggest upset of the year came Tuesday -- and the organization's new hero is a professor. David Brat, a professor of economics at Randolph-Macon College, won the Republican Party primary for the Congressional seat held by Eric Cantor, the House majority leader who had been a likely candidate for speaker of the house at some point in the future. Brat accused Cantor of not being tough enough on immigration issues, and Cantor's defeat may not bode well for efforts to get the House of Representatives to take up immigration reform.

During the campaign, Cantor criticized Brat as a "liberal college professor" but the move may have backfired. Brat's views are hard to call anything but conservative and he ran to the right of Cantor, who is himself viewed as conservative. The group FactCheck.org found that Cantor's characterization was unfair.

Brat's Democratic opponent in the general election is Jack Trammell, another Randolph-Macon professor.

 

 

 

June 11, 2014

Members of the Law Society of British Columbia have voted overwhelmingly -- 3,210 to 968 -- to urge their organization to revoke its accreditation for a new law school at Trinity Western University, The Globe and Mail reported. The Canadian Christian institution bars students and faculty members from any sexual relationships outside of heterosexual marriage, and critics have said that Canada's principles of equity should bar recognition of colleges that discriminate against gay people. The issue has been going back and forth in Canadian legal groups for several years, and legal groups in two provinces already have taken action so that they will not recognize Trinity Western graduates as lawyers as long as the university maintains its policies. The law society in British Columbia does not have to follow the recommendations of its membership, but an official said that the executive committee of the association would give the membership vote "serious and thoughtful consideration."

Trinity Western has argued throughout the debate over its law school that the university has a right to have and enforce its own religious views. Bob Kuhn, president of the university, issued a statement after the vote saying, "Difficult decisions involving fundamental rights and freedoms should not be decided by popular opinion.”

 

Pages

Back to Top